There are a number of different treatments of kidney disease, and the most appropriate one for you will often depend on the underlying cause of your condition. While in many cases, there is no cure for chronic kidney disease, there are ways that symptoms can be treated and manage to make you more comfortable.
Treatments of kidney disease will also help to reduce the risk of potential complications and slow down the progression of the disease.
Treating the underlying cause
Your doctor's first aim will often be to slow or control the underlying condition causing your kidney disease. Although the treatments of kidney disease vary depending on the cause, the damage to your kidneys can be worsened if underlying conditions are not controlled.
Kidney disease complications can usually be controlled to help relieve symptoms and make you more comfortable. Treatments may include: 1 - Taking medication for high blood pressure Many people with kidney disease experience higher than usual blood pressure. If this is the case, your doctor will recommend medications to control your high blood pressure. 2 - Medications to lower cholesterol levels If your kidney disease is linked to a high cholesterol level, your doctor may suggest medication to help control this. Many sufferers of kidney disease find that they have higher levels of bad cholesterol which can then lead to further complications and issues such as heart disease. 3 - Anaemia medications Supplements may be recommended if your kidney disease is linked to anaemia. These medications are designed to aid the production of red blood cells which can help to relieve the chronic fatigue and weakness. 4 - Medications to relieve swelling People with chronic kidney disease often retain unnecessary fluids which can lead to swelling of the limbs (especially the legs). Medications can be taken to help reduce this swelling if needed.
If your kidneys fail or struggle to keep up with waste and fluid clearance you will be diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease. At this point, the treatments of kidney disease become dialysis or a transplant.
Kidney dialysis treatment takes over when your kidneys are unable to perform their role and artificially removes waste products and excess fluid from your blood. The two types of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
With hemodialysis, a machine is used to filter excess water and other fluids from your blood. A peritoneal dialysis is slightly different. Here a catheter is inserted into your abdomen, filling your abdominal cavity with a dialysis solution which absorbs excess water and other fluids.
A kidney transplant involves the surgical replacement of your damaged or failed kidney with a healthy kidney from a donor. The healthy, transplanted kidney can come from either a living or deceased donor as we are able to function with just a single kidney. After your transplant, you will need to take medication to reduce the risk of the donor kidney being rejected by your body. These medications will need to be taken for the rest of your life, but once you have undergone a transplant you won't need to continue with dialysis treatment.
If you would like to know more about the various treatments of kidney disease, get in touch with our endocrinology department.